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Florida is Home to 10 of the Top 25 U.S. Growth Cities in the U-Haul Growth Index

Jan. 11, 2022
Florida and Texas account for 60% of U-Haul’s top 25 growth cities.

According to data in the annual U-Haul Growth Index, the Kissimmee-St. Cloud market south of Orlando took the No. 1 spot in 2021. The city ranked second in 2019 and 2020. It’s one of 10 Florida markets among the top 25 growth cities in this year’s index.

The frontrunner from 2019, North Carolina’s Raleigh-Durham, came in at No. 2 in 2021. It’s followed by Florida’s Palm Bay-Melbourne market and then North Port, the No. 1 growth city of 2020. Madison, WI, rounds out the top five.

Growth cities are calculated by the net gain of one-way U-Haul trucks entering a city/market versus leaving that city/market in a calendar year. Migration trends data is compiled from well over 2 million one-way U-Haul truck customer transactions that occur annually. Neighboring cities in U-Haul markets are often packaged together for migration trends purposes.

“Florida remains competitive, especially during the COVID era,” said Miguel Caminos, U-Haul Company of Orlando president, in a post at www.uhaul.com. “We’ve pushed through and business is thriving. It’s not just people moving to Florida, but businesses moving because they see better opportunities here.”

Texas boasts five growth cities among the top 25, led by the College Station-Bryan market at No. 7. Grapevine, Austin, Richardson and Carrollton also make the cut as premier destinations for U-Haul customers.

Other Florida cities to make the top 25 are: Fort Myers-North Fort Myers; Clermont; Sarasota-Bradenton; Daytona Beach; Port St. Lucie; Brandon-Riverview; and Ocala.

Arrivals of U-Haul trucks into Kissimmee-St. Cloud climbed +31% while departures rose +29% as overall moving traffic spiked in the market. Arriving trucks accounted for 53.2% of all one-way U-Haul traffic in Kissimmee-St. Cloud.

“Florida has always been a destination location for retirees, but more so (in 2021),” said Mario Martinez, U-Haul Area District VP of Southern Florida in the post. “There are many other reasons why people are coming to Florida, and have come in previous years. We have lower cost (of living) than other states. There is no state income tax – that’s a huge factor. The warm weather. Basically, we have summer weather all year long. Attractions. Our beaches. The activities. There’s just so much to do. Jobs that are available play a very important part in people moving into Florida. And during this pandemic for the past two years, we’ve also pretty much been open the entire time. This state has kept on going, and (2021) has just been busy all the way around.

While U-Haul migration trends do not correlate directly to population or economic growth, the U-Haul Growth Index is an effective gauge of how well cities are both attracting and maintaining residents.

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